Showing posts with label Irony. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Irony. Show all posts

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pond scum moonlighting as a human being

By Walter Einenkel

During President Obama’s administration, useless hedge fund managers cried big boy tears about how persecuted they were being. President Obama had to frequently attempt to remind them that they made way too much money to be crying over anything.

Sadly, President Obama did not have the will to send them all to jail where many of them deserve to be—to this day.

In 2010, after President Obama helped to navigate our country out of the largest economic disaster since the 1929 Wall Street crash, he held a televised Town Hall. During it, a younger and equally craven Anthony Scaramucci got to ask a question.

The question sounded something like “WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH, my feelings!”

To which President Obama replied.
I think it'd be useful to go back and look at the speeches that I've made, including a speech by the way I made back in 2007, on Wall Street, before Lehmans had gone under. In which I warned about a potential crisis if we didn't start reforming practices on Wall Street. At the time I said exactly what you said, which is Wall Street and Main Street are connected. We need a vibrant vital financial sector that is investing in businesses investing in jobs investing in our people providing consumers loans so they can buy products all that's very important and we want that to thrive but we've got to do so in a responsible way. 
I have been amused over the last couple of years this sense of somehow meet beating up on Wall Street. I think most folks on Main Street feel like they got beat up on; and I'll be honestly there's a big chunk of the country--hold on--I was like there's a big chunk of the country that thinks that I have been too soft yet on Wall Street and that's the majority—not the minority. 
Now, what I've tried to do is just try to be practical. You know I'm sure that at any given point over the last two years there have been times where I have been frustrated, and I'll give you some examples—I mean when I hear folks who say that somehow were being too tough on Wall Street, but after a huge crisis the top 25 hedge fund managers took home a billion dollars in income that year. A billion!
For what it’s worth, Scaramucci is exactly like the rest of this administration—pond scum moonlighting as human.
H/T Rawstory

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III discussed Trump campaign related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

The accounts from Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to his superiors, intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, contradict public assertions by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Post's Greg Miller explains. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Sessions has said repeatedly that he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was only in his capacity as a U.S. senator that he met with Kislyak.

“I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,” Sessions said in March when he announced that he would recuse himself from matters relating to the FBI probe of Russian interference in the election and any connections to the Trump campaign.
Current and former U.S. officials said that assertion is at odds with Kislyak’s accounts of conversations during two encounters over the course of the campaign, one in April ahead of Trump’s first major foreign policy speech and another in July on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.

The apparent discrepancy could pose new problems for Sessions at a time when his position in the administration appears increasingly tenuous.

Trump, in an interview this week, expressed frustration with Sessions’s recusing himself from the Russia probe and indicated that he regretted his decision to make the lawmaker from Alabama the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Trump also faulted Sessions as giving “bad answers” during his confirmation hearing about his Russian contacts during the campaign.

Officials emphasized that the information contradicting Sessions comes from U.S. intelligence on Kislyak’s communications with the Kremlin, and acknowledged that the Russian ambassador could have mischaracterized or exaggerated the nature of his interactions.

“Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that the Washington Post has not seen and that has not been provided to me,” said Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman in a statement. She reiterated that Sessions did not discuss interference in the election.

Russian and other foreign diplomats in Washington and elsewhere have been known, at times, to report false or misleading information to bolster their standing with their superiors or to confuse U.S. intelligence agencies.

But U.S. officials with regular access to Russian intelligence reports say Kislyak — whose tenure as ambassador to the United States ended recently — has a reputation for accurately relaying details about his interactions with officials in Washington.

Sessions removed himself from direct involvement in the Russia investigation after it was revealed in The Washington Post that he had met with Kislyak at least twice in 2016, contacts he failed to disclose during his confirmation hearing in January.

“I did not have communications with the Russians,” Sessions said when asked whether anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign had communicated with representatives of the Russian government.

He has since maintained that he misunderstood the scope of the question and that his meetings with Kislyak were strictly in his capacity as a U.S. senator. In a March appearance on Fox television, Sessions said, “I don’t recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way.”

Sessions appeared to narrow that assertion further in extensive testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June, saying that he “never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States.”

But when pressed for details, Sessions qualified many of his answers during that hearing by saying that he could “not recall” or did not have “any recollection.”

A former U.S. official who read the Kislyak reports said that the Russian ambassador reported speaking with Sessions about issues that were central to the campaign, including Trump’s positions on key policy matters of significance to Moscow.

Sessions had a third meeting with Kislyak in his Senate office in September. Officials declined to say whether U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted any Russian communications describing the third encounter.

As a result, the discrepancies center on two earlier Sessions-Kislyak conversations, including one that Sessions has acknowledged took place in July 2016 on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.

By that point, Russian President Vladimir Putin had decided to embark on a secret campaign to help Trump win the White House by leaking damaging emails about his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Although it remains unclear how involved Kislyak was in the covert Russian campaign to aid Trump, his superiors in Moscow were eager for updates about the candidate’s positions, particularly regarding U.S. sanctions on Russia and long-standing disputes with the Obama administration over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Kislyak also reported having a conversation with Sessions in April at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where then-candidate Trump delivered his first major foreign policy address, according to the officials familiar with intelligence on Kislyak.

Sessions has said he does not remember any encounter with Kislyak at that event. In his June testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions said, “I do not recall any conversations with any Russian official at the Mayflower Hotel.”

Later in that hearing, Sessions said that “it’s conceivable that that occurred. I just don’t remember it.”

Kislyak was also a key figure in the departure of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to leave that job after The Post revealed that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak even while telling others in the Trump administration that he had not done so.

In that case, however, Flynn’s phone conversations with Kislyak were intercepted by U.S. intelligence, providing irrefutable evidence. The intelligence on Sessions, by contrast, is based on Kislyak’s accounts and not corroborated by other sources.

Former FBI director James B. Comey fueled speculation about the possibility of a Sessions-Kislyak meeting at the Mayflower when he told the same Senate committee on June 8 that the bureau had information about Sessions that would have made it “problematic” for him to be involved in the Russia probe.

Comey would not provide details of what information the FBI had, except to say that he could only discuss it privately with the senators. Current and former officials said he appeared to be alluding to intelligence on Kislyak’s account of an encounter with Sessions at the Mayflower.

Senate Democrats later called on the FBI to investigate the event in April at the Mayflower hotel.

Sessions’s role in removing Comey as FBI director angered many at the bureau and set in motion events that led to the appointment of former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III as a special counsel overseeing the Russia probe.
Trump’s harsh words toward the attorney general fueled speculation this week that Sessions would be fired or would resign. So far, he has resisted resigning, saying that he intends to stay in the job “as long as that is appropriate.”

Matt Zapotosky and Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump Voters Were Wrong, So Fuck Their Opinions

Posted by Rude One

In just six short months, it's become absolutely clear: Everyone who didn't vote for Donald Trump was right and everyone who voted for him was wrong. Yeah, yeah, they weren't wrong in that Trump won the election, just as someone isn't wrong for supporting a shitty baseball team. But it's incredibly clear now that the poor suckers and greedy fuckers who wanted to nuzzle up to Trump's man-teats for a suckle were wrong on just about every account regarding who he is and what he'd do.

They were wrong that he's a man of his word, they were wrong that he would look out for working people, they were wrong that he would make the nation respected "again" (as if it wasn't before), they were wrong that he wouldn't have scandals, and they were just wrong about him being a human being worthy of the office. They were wrong and we who voted against him (and I'm tossing anyone who voted for Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, and Deez Nutz into the category of "voted against him") were right.

Trump voters fucked the goat, and so everything they say should be framed within the fact that they are goatfuckers. "Oh, you have an opinion on health care? Sorry, you fucked a goat. I don't give a shit about your goat-fucking opinion," we should think. But that's not what we do. We don't shun the goatfuckers, no matter how savagely they fucked that goat. We see that most clearly by the fact that the news networks and other media outlets still entertain the opinions of people who supported the Iraq war and never said they were wrong about it. Goatfuckers get away with it.

So we're treated on an almost daily basis to articles and stories about Trump voters and what they think about some issue and whether or not Trump's evil, batshit incompetence is enough for them to bail on the Orange King. Every single one of these stories is the same: Here are some assholes who voted for Trump. Let's treat them with reverence, as if they have hard-won wisdom because they shovel shit or work at Wal-Mart. Let's tell them about all the fuckery that Donald Trump has been up to and see what they think. Oh, look, they don't give a shit because he still hates the Mooslems and Messicans. And what might change their minds about Trumpochet? "I don’t know what he would have to do...I guess maybe kill someone. Just in cold blood."

That's an actual quote from an actual person in a Tennesseean article on Wayne County, Tennessee, an almost entirely white rural area with less people than my neighborhood. The thrust of the piece is that Trump voters couldn't give a happy monkey fuck about the Russia scandal. In fact, they think Trump is being maligned and Don Jr. is awesome. This is the newest wrinkle in the genre: What do stupid people think about something they don't understand at all? In the last week, Vox has done a story on Michigan Trump voters, who don't think the Russian connections are any big deal. The BBC sent a reporter to the Nebraska State Fair to get some American color (yes, ironic, I know) and some video of deluded shit heels sharing their delusions.

As Newsweek's Alexander Nazaryn wrote, "The real story here is how thoroughly Trump supporters have been deceived, both by Trump and tireless boot-lickers like Hannity and Jones. Every quote from an Ohioan who declares the Russia investigation is irrelevant is a testament to the delusive brand of Republicanism that now reigns supreme." Joshua Green said much the same in the New York Times.

Each of the Trump voter pieces generally has a token interview with someone who doesn't support Trump. But they are presented as curiosities, the two-headed cow that shouldn't exist but somehow does. But the reality is, obviously, people who think Trump is full of shit vastly outnumber the aforementioned suckers and fuckers who stand by their man. How about interviewing some of us? How about asking us, "How did you know?" And we can say, "Anyone with a fuckin' brain knew." Ask us, "What do you think about the Russia dealie?" And we can say, "Either we do something about it or we're fucked."

Hell, you don't even have to stick to the cities, where the majority of the country lives. Since you've got a rural jones, you can head to Bolivar, Tennessee, a town in the ass-crack of nowhere, near to the Alabama border, as Deep South as you can get. They went for Hillary Clinton, as did nearby Whiteville. Of course, those are majority African American towns, so you'd have to change the whole goddamned narrative away from the mighty white working class.

Or, here's an idea, why not go to the communities that went for Trump and find the people who didn't. Talk to them. See if they're feeling smug or sad or angry. See what their ideas are for getting us out of this or through this goddamn bullshit time. Find out how they're feeling about Trump's relationship with Russia. Ask them because they, like the majority of the country, were right.

Let's spend a little time and energy, dear, sweet reporters, on people who aren't barking mad or madly barking.

(Note: If you didn't vote at all, go suck a donkey's dick.)

(Note: If you wanna write to me about "goatfucker shaming," I hate you already. Same for "donkey-dick sucker shaming." Some things are just fucking shameful. Sucking a donkey's dick, fucking a goat, and voting for Donald Trump, for examples.)

Weary Trump supporters desperate to tune out bad news

By Brad Reed

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Look At The Timeline

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams pleads guilty in his federal corruption trial

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams abruptly pleaded guilty Thursday, nearly two weeks into a federal bribery trial that dragged embarrassing details about his messy personal life and financial struggles out into open court.

Williams will resign as the city’s top prosecutor as part of a deal under which he pleaded guilty to one count related to accepting a bribe from Bucks County businessman Mohammad Ali.

Asked by U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond whether he intended to follow through with his resignation, Williams choked up and answered, “humbly, sincerely and effective immediately.”

Diamond said he wanted Williams’ resignation letter couriered to Mayor Kenny’s office as soon as the hearing was over.

Williams remained somber looking throughout the guilty plea hearing.

“I’m just very sorry for all of this, your honor,” he said.

At a followup hearing to determine whether Williams should be jailed immediately, defense attorney Thomas F. Burke argued the disgraced prosecutor was not a flight risk.

“He has no means as the court can see to go anywhere. He has no support. He’s deeply in debt and he doesn’t even have a car,” Burke said.

Taking the witness stand to plead with a judge not to send him directly to prison before sentencing, tears welled up in Williams’ eyes while discussing his daughters.

He acknowledged he was broke, saying he had “probably about $150 to $200” in his bank account.

In addition to accepting that he could face a maximum 5 year term when he is sentenced Oct. 24, Williams agreed to forfeit $64,878.22

While the 28 remaining counts against Williams were dismissed, he “admits that he committed all of the conduct in those 29 counts,”  Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer said.

“Williams took benefits repeatedly from Mr. Ali knowing that those benefits were offered – at least in part – to influence him to take official actions,”  said Zauzmer.

Williams notified prosecutors he wanted to take the plea deal at 1 a.m.Thursday, said Zauzmer.

Sources close to the case say the deal is similar to one Williams was offered – and turned down – one day before his indictment earlier this year on 29 corruption-related counts including bribery, extortion and honest services fraud.

Prior to his admission, prosecutors and Williams’ defense lawyers – Thomas F. Burke and Trevan Borum – spent more than an hour huddled in quiet conversation in the courtroom, while the district attorney was nowhere to be seen.

His decision came after weeks of damaging testimony in which government witnesses characterized him a shameless beggar who repeatedly turned to the money of others to fund a lifestyle he couldn’t afford.

Two wealthy businessmen testified that they had showered the district attorney with gifts of all-expenses-paid travel, luxury goods and even cash in anticipation of the legal favors they might need from him.

And prosecutors had alleged that Williams delivered for them – writing letters to throw his weight into their legal problems and promising in one instance to intervene in a drug case brought by his office.

Additionally, Williams was accused of misspending thousands of dollars from his campaign fund on memberships to exclusive Philadelphia social clubs, misusing city vehicles as if they were his own and misappropriating money intended to fund his mother’s nursing home care.

Read a recap of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams’ trial with our day-by-day updates and learn more with our explainer on everything you need to know about the case.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Screw You

By rpannier

I swear the next sob story I hear about some jackass who voted for il douchebag whining and crying about how they feel betrayed by the Clown Prince of Idiocracy I'm going find them and hurl a bushel full of rotted apples at their stupid, whining, jerk face.

I have no sympathy, NONE, for the vast majority of the denizens of the political wasteland who want us to feel their pain because their fucking job went to Canada, or Mexico, or China, or was just fucking closed so some vulture capitalist pig whom you admire so much for their grit and monetary know-how can buy that new ivory covered back scratcher (my obligatory Simpsonism)

Guess what, oh Servant of the Lord of the Dung, you got took and I don't give a damn.

You voted not just for the Grifter-in-Chief, but then you turned around and voted for his Merry Band of Criminals. Yeah! I'm looking at YOU Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. You who re-elected the odious Republikkan senator from your state for some reason that only someone with several advanced degrees in Behavioral Science focusing specifically on the Stupid, the Lame, the Ignorant, the Bat Shit Moron could possibly hope to comprehend.

Screw you, oh Joe Six-Pack and Sally Housecoat (Another Simpsonism) who are getting on TV and singing your sad tale of how Carrier is really, actually sending the jobs you held elsewhere... and YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND. I mean, "HE TOLD US THOSE JOBS WERE SAVED!"
So some (probably most) of you vague-witted harlequins happily tossed away your vote on a man whose whole history has been one of, and get this, 'NOT GIVING A FUCK ABOUT ANYONE BUT HIMSELF!' A simple ixquick (shameless plug), google or whatever search engine you use, would have shown you this.
But, Nooooooooooooo!!! Now, we're treated to seeing a half dozen of you Swamp Creature rejects on TV telling us how betrayed you feel. The funny part is... You really look surprised.
Weeeeeeeeellllllllll... screw you! Screw the person who was standing to your left and to your right. Screw everyone who worked at Carrier who voted for Trump.
My sympathies lie with those of you who didn't vote for the Swinish Lout that presently claims the title of President.
They deserve our sympathies.
But here's the thing, you won't see them on TV all glazy eyed, drooling, shaking their heads, saying, "I...I just don't get it."
That's probably why they don't get interviewed. They ought to send a reporter to your town and do a segment on every Carrier employee who voted Clinton beating the shit out of the Trump voters with padded clubs.
But that would be too violent... maybe. And, if it were me who had lost my job and they gave me a club, it'd take 15 people to pull me away from you nit-witted trolls.

Moving on to another location in the Midwest, but still smack-dab in the heart of Doofania (Phineas and Ferb), Fox6 and Money reports that GE is closing their plant in Waukesha and move its 300-plus jobs to Canada.
And yes... Yes... YEs... YES, the addlepated dwellers of Swale of Stupid are SHOCKED! DISAPPOINTED! and SADDENED! this is happening.
I'm sure the DUH-nizens are all of those things and more.
By a hefty margin of over 2:1 You Butt-Clowns voted for the poor man's Mussolini. By over 2:1 you voted for the reject from the Movie Leprechaun Paul Ryan (rejected because he was too sociopathic for the part).

You want a good laugh. It's pathetic, but I laughed.
“Doesn’t he realize that we voted for him? He should have been there and saw my wife crying. He should have been there,” Kenneth Olsen said (of Ryan).
Poor... poor Kenneth Olsen. You voted for Truquemada and IT and now you and your wife (who also likely voted for them) has a sad.
And why should Ryan show up? Do you have a hefty campaign donation for him. Or, do you just want to sit there while he laughs at your stupidity?
Screw Bret Mattice, who voted for the first time...EVER! And guess for whom the dimbulb voted? If you guessed the least qualified person on the ballot, any ballot, in any country, at any time in history, you'd be correct.
Do us all a favor Bret Mattice, don't ever vote again... please
Oh... and screw you!

Then there's this primary school refuse, Joe Barlow. In an interview, supporter of the Annoying Orange reject, Joe Barlow, said this....
Note... pay careful attention to your jaw. It may drop so hard and so fast you could hurt yourself. My suggestion is to tie it off like Jacob Marley in a Christmas Carol
“I don’t believe there’s hope for our plant. My hope is, companies like that, that offshore all the work, I hope he follows through on his 35% tax and punishes those businesses,”
You see that? "I hope he follows through on his 35%...blah." Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! He hopes Trump follows through on a campaign promise.
Screw You Joe. You and your Trumpists screwed over your fellow employees, the one's who didn't vote for the squalid-one. The one's who didn't just say, "How fucking stupid a vote can I cast? Hmmmmm. I know. I'll vote for all three. Because what could possibly go wrong?"

Here's the difference between you People Under the Stairs and say, some out of work guy, who is surfing through garbage dumps hoping to find enough scrap metal that he can sell to survive. I can almost understand them. They had nothing to lose. But... you... you F@CKERS had good paying jobs. At the time, your plant in Wisconsin was NOT... I repeat NOT in danger of closing. In fact, it was his election and the inane rantings of the Evil Elf about the Import-Export Bank that got it closed and moved on to Canada.
You had money! You had a House! You had something! You pittered it away for some unknown reason.
Write a book titled. "How NOT to be a squirrel brained jack-ass!"
Tell us what you were thinking, so we know what NOT to do

To my niece in Minnesota (still in the Midwest) who voted for Trump, for one reason and ONE REASON ONLY.... (dum... er... drum roll. I'm sure you already know the answer) "I did it for the babies."
Yes! Yes! Yes, ladies and gentlemen... Abortion! Abortion was the reason why she voted for the Fake Tanned Ogre! Abortion!
Now... now... she's all concerned because his policies could hurt the children. You know... the boys and girls that are NOT little growing pieces of tissue, that if removed from the womb would die within a few hours. Actual living, breathing HUMAN BEINGS.
SCREW YOU! Screw you and Your fucking Abortion fixation

Slogging back to Indiana and a revisit to dimwit Helen Beristain and her undocumented husband.
Ms. Helen Beristain actually thought her husband would not get deported.
Laugh along with me folks. She's as jaw dropping stupid as the guys in Wisconsin.

Ms. Helen Beristain somehow believed her husband would not be deported because only the 'Bad Hombres' would go. She said (before her husband was shipped off to Mexico) "I don't think ICE is out there to detain anyone and break families, no,"
She was, of course, shocked that her husband was kicked out.
How does she feel now? Don't know. According to CNN, she won't answer calls from any news sources.
Screw You Ms Helen Beristain. And screw Granger, Indiana... the very Republican Town of Granger, Indiana. The shocked citizenry of the town who thought Roberto would not be sent back because he was a good person, 'A Good Hombre'. Screw You

I could go on. There are so many of these stories. The dumb twerp in Florida who was afraid of losing his insurance, but felt it would be best to vote for the groper because he was certain it would be best for the whole country to do so, even if it hurt him.
Good job, Buttercup! You lost out. And... here's the part you somehow missed... They're SCREWING everyone over.
Oh.. unless you're a millionaire.

The oxygen thieves, the simpletons who voted for his Assness, or at the very least, wouldn't vote for Clinton because somehow... someway... there was 'NO ACTUAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO.'
HYSTERICAL isn't it? Because if she were president right now, Gorsuch, or someone worse would be on the Court... I guess. Oh... and we'd be looking at selling off National Park Land. And of course, we'd have a President beholden to the closest thing to a real-life Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in Putin. And, of course, she'd have insulted half the leaders of our allies by whining about electoral votes and actual votes and her inauguration attendance and some other rubbish. And lied about taping conversations in the White House (or did trump lie?)
Screw You! Screw You! Screw You!

(And for the sake of transparency; 1. I voted for Sanders in the primary. 2. I did belong to the Clinton Group on DU. 3 I belonged to every Democratic President Group for 2016 on DU. 4. I voted for Clinton in the GE. Just in case you're thinking, "I wonder who rpannier voted for?")

Or the countless stupid people across the country, male and female, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, African American, western Asian, Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Muslims (yeah, I'm perplexed by that as well) who, for some inexplicable reason got up out of bed and said to themselves, "I'm going to do the FUCKING STUPIDEST THING I WILL EVER do in my entire lifetime."
They somehow found a polling station and voted for that thing that sits in the White House, in a bathrobe, screaming at a television set and finding new and different ways to enrich his family and friends, while screwing over everyone else.

Well... Screw You (he says calmly). You're an idiot. I cannot fix this problem. Most of my family cannot fix this problem. Many of my friends cannot. They got out and voted. They didn't vote for the orange-faced fake-haired charlatan.

I am finished. I have said my piece. I am still not at piece with the low wattage loser in the WH.
And... one last thought....
Screw You if You voted for Trump

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. 

Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

At that point, the outlines of the Russian assault on the U.S. election were increasingly apparent.

Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year. In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Confederate General Babbles Before Congress

Posted by Excommunicated Cardinal

At 2:30pm Eastern time today, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III will testify under oath before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence regarding his contacts with government officials of the Russian Federation prior to the January 20th inauguration, as well as his role in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Many burning questions remain for Sessions.

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has brought on money laundering experts, a veritable "murders' row" of prosecutors, while the right-wing world has turned on him in a transparent and vicious attempt to undermine the credibility of the investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russia and other filthy laundry the investigation turns up.

To complicate matters further for the embattled chief executive, there are reports that he is considering attempting to fire Robert Mueller. Jesse Eisinger and Justin Elliott of ProPublica have also reported that Trump's personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz has claimed to have been a catalyst in the firing of former US Attorney Preet Bhara.

In other news, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the administration in regards to Trump's self-proclaimed travel ban, unanimously upholding an injunction preventing the implementation of the policy.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is trying desperately to pass another cruel ACA-repeal bill with no public text or CBO score.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

When Will Trump Voters Realize They've Been Had?

People don't like to admit they were wrong, which is what they would be doing if they concede that Trump is not up to the job.

Photo Credit: George Sheldon /

When will the people of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, those stalwart Trump voters who believe he’ll be bringing back coal jobs, finally figure out they’ve been had?

History suggests it's unrealistic to expect people to change their minds quickly. This is a pattern that has held for centuries. In the 1600's the Salem witch trials dragged on for eight long months before townsfolk finally began to realize that they had been caught up in an irrational frenzy. More recently, Americans proved during Watergate that they are reluctant to turn on a president they have just elected despite mounds of evidence incriminating him in scandalous practices. The Watergate burglary took place on June 17, 1972. But it wasn't until April 30, 1973 – eleven months later – that his popularity finally fell below 50 percent. This was long after the Watergate burglars had been tried and convicted and the FBI had confirmed news reports that the Republicans had played dirty tricks on the Democrats during the campaign. Leaked testimony had even showed that former Attorney General John Mitchell knew about the break-in in advance. But not until Nixon fired White House Counsel John Dean and White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman resigned did a majority turn against the president. And even at that point Nixon's poll numbers stood higher than Trump's. Nixon:  48 percent; Trump: 42 percent.

It's not just conservative voters who are reluctant to change their minds. So are liberals. After news reports surfaced in the 1970s proving that John Kennedy was a serial philanderer millions of his supporters refused to acknowledge it. A poll in 2013 show a majority of Americans still think of him as a good family man.

Thus far not even many leading Democrats have been willing to come out in favor of Trump's impeachment. Cory Booker, the liberal senator from New Jersey, said this past week it's simply too soon. And if a guy like Booker is not yet prepared to come straight out for impeachment, why should we think Trump voters would be willing to? It is only just in the last few weeks that polls show that a plurality of voters now favor Trump's impeachment. (Twelve percent of self-identified Trump voters share this view, which is remarkable.)

It's no mystery why people are reluctant to change their minds. Social scientists have produced hundreds of studies that explain the phenomenon. Rank partisanship is only part of the answer. Mainly it’s that people don't like to admit they were wrong, which is what they would be doing if they concede that Trump is not up to the job. When Trump voters hear news that puts their leader in an unfavorable light they experience cognitive dissonance. The natural reaction to this is to deny the legitimacy of the source of the news that they find upsetting. This is what explains the harsh attacks on the liberal media. Those stories are literally making Trump voters feel bad. As the Emory University social scientist Drew Westen has demonstrated, people hearing information contrary to their beliefs will cease giving it credence. This is not a decision we make at the conscious level. Our brain makes it for us automatically.

So what leads people to finally change their minds? One of the most convincing explanations is provided by the Theory of Affective Intelligence. This mouthful of a name refers to the tendency of people experiencing cognitive dissonance to feel anxiety when they do so. As social scientist George Marcus has explained, when the burden of hanging onto an existing opinion becomes greater than the cost of changing it, we begin to reconsider our commitments. What's the trigger? Anxiety. When there's a mismatch between our views of the way the world works and reality we grow anxious. This provokes us to make a fresh evaluation.

What this research suggests is that we probably have a ways to go before Trump voters are going to switch their opinions. While some are evidently feeling buyers' remorse, a majority aren't. They're just not anxious enough yet. Liberals need not worry. The very same headlines that are giving them an upset stomach are making it more and more likely Trump voters are also experiencing discomfort. What might push them over the edge?  One possibility would be a decision to follow through on his threat to end subsidies to insurance companies under Obamacare, leading to the collapse of the system, and the loss of coverage for millions of Trump voters. That’s become more and more likely since the Senate is apparently unable to pass the repeal and replace measure Trump has been counting on.  So liberals just have to wait and watch.  Will the story unfold like Watergate?  Every day the answer increasingly seems yes.

An optimist would argue that social media will help push people to change their minds faster now than in the past.  But social media could also have the opposite effect. People living in a bubble who get their media from biased sources online may be less likely to encounter the contrary views that stimulate reflection than was common, say, in the Nixon years when virtually all Americans watched the mainstream network news shows.  Eventually, one supposes, people will catch on no matter how they consume news.  Of late even Fox News viewers have heard enough disturbing stories about Trump to begin to reconsider their commitment to him.  That is undoubtedly one reason why Nate Silver found that so many Trump voters are reluctant to count themselves among the strongest supporters.

Rick Shenkman is the editor and founder of the History News Network and the author most recently of Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (Basic Books, January 2016).

Monday, May 29, 2017

Kushner's Charmed Life Comes To A Screeching Halt

By Taegan Goddard

Walter Shapiro: “Even under the benign theory that Kushner thought that a secret back channel was like a small boy’s tin-can telephone, his life in the coming months and maybe years will be a study in misery. He will probably spend more time with his personal lawyer, Clinton Justice Department veteran Jamie Gorelick, than with Ivanka or his children. Whether it is an appearance under oath on Capitol Hill or the inevitable FBI interview, every sentence Kushner utters will bring with it possible legal jeopardy.”

“Kushner may have once thought that he established his tough-guy credentials when he stared down angry creditors and impatient bankers over his ill-timed 2007 purchase of a $1.8bn Fifth Avenue office building. But the worst thing that can happen to an over-leveraged real estate investor (as Trump himself knows well) is bankruptcy. When the FBI and special prosecutor Robert Mueller get involved, the penalties can theoretically involve steel bars locking behind you.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

300 of the 800 Jobs That Trump “Saved” At Carrier Plant Are Now Moving To Mexico

Donald Trump championed the 1,100 jobs he saved at a Carrier plant in Indiana, but the real number of jobs saved was 800, and now out of those 800, 300 are moving to Mexico by Christmas, so Carrier got a $7 million taxpayer handout and still shipped jobs to Mexico.

CNN reported, “Donald Trump may have convinced Carrier not to move its Indianapolis furnace plant to Mexico. But the company is still shipping about 300 of its jobs to Mexico right before Christmas. In a formal notice to the state of Indiana, the company detailed its plans to eliminate 338 jobs at the plant on July 20, four supervisor jobs in October and a final 290 jobs on Dec. 22.”

The Carrier deal was a PR scam.

The pro-Trump messaging behind the deal quickly fell apart when it was revealed that only 800 jobs, not 1,100 would be saved. The number was then reduced to 730 jobs that would be saved.

There was a reason why Trump never got a guarantee that the jobs were going to stay in the United States, because the jobs were always destined to go to Mexico or go away. Carrier is a classic example of why Trump will never be able to restore America’s manufacturing sector to its past glory.

Many more of the Carrier jobs that are staying in the US are going to be gone in the future because more factories are moving towards automation. The biggest threat to US manufacturing sector jobs isn’t in a foreign country. It’s technology.

The Carrier scheme was always a fraud that designed to give a corporation millions of dollars while making it look like Trump was saving jobs, but just like everything else in the Trump presidency, the talk never matches the action.

Then And Now

Karma! Michael Flynn, Mister 'Lock Her Up,' Takes The Fifth

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Defeated Pro-Trump Democratic Mayor Is Down In The Dumps

By Alex Seitz-Wald 

Last year, the mayor of a seen-better-days steel town in Western Pennsylvania became the poster child of President Donald Trump's appeal to white working-class Democrats. But he'll soon be out of work after a 26 year old assistant band director at the local high school beat him in a Democratic primary.

Monessen Mayor Louis Mavrakis' outspoken support for Trump turned him into a media sensation.

The 79 year old former union organizer helped decode Trump's appeal in the Rust Belt on Sunday political talk shows and for major newspapers, where he was quoted saying things like: "If ISIS was to come to Monessen, they'd keep on going. They'd say someone already bombed the goddamn place."

Trump himself made a high-profile visit to Monessen, a town of just 7,500, on Mavrakis' invitation.

Trump stood in front of a wall of recycled trash to slam free-trade policies and promised to bring back good-paying coal mining and steel-making jobs.
Image: Lou Mavrakis
In this undated image, Lou Mavrakis is shown. Mavrakis recently lost his incumbent bid for the mayoral race of Monessen, PA. Courtesy Observer-Reporter
But Mavrakis' coup in getting Trump to town also helped lead to his downfall.

When a group of residents protested his visit, they were led by Matt Shorraw, a local community activist whose family has been in the town for generations.

"What bothered me the most was Trump's visit got our mayor a lot of press, but he basically used that press to say our city is a dump," Shorraw told NBC News.

Shorraw resolved to run for mayor, even though he had never held public office and was only in his mid-20's.

On Tuesday, he narrowly defeated Mavrakis in the Democratic primary. And with no Republican on the ballot in November, Shorraw is all but guaranteed to be the youngest mayor in the town's history.
Image: Matt Shorraw
In this undated image, Matthew Shorraw is shown. Shorraw recently won the mayoral race for town of Monessen, PA. Courtesy Observer-Reporter
"I think a bit of the Trump phenomenon was that people wanted something completely different. And I think that might have been the case in Monessen, too, with me," said Shorraw.

Biff Rendar, a local Democratic activist who supported Shorraw, said "you cannot find two more opposite people" than Shorraw and Mavrakis.

In photos and videos posted on his campaign's website, Shorraw looks more like the stereotype of a Brooklyn hipster than a Rust Belt worker. His announcement video features him wearing a plaid shirt and blazer with thick-rimmed plastic glasses.

But he got noticed for the community projects he has taken on since he was 18, such as revitalizing an amphitheater. It demonstrated an optimism for the town that voters found refreshing, said Rendar.

The Westmoreland Democratic Party broke its longstanding precedent of not endorsing in primaries in order to back Shorraw after Mavrakis brought Trump to town.

"Mavrakis was already lost to us," said Lorraine Petrosky, the party chairwoman.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

If you work for Trump, it's time to quit

After the Comey firing and the Russia intel leak, the I’m-taking-one-for-the-team ship has sailed.

Rick Wilson is a Republican consultant and a Daily Beast columnist.
I’ve been a Republican political consultant for almost 30 years, and I’ve dispensed a lot of private advice. But now it’s time for me to reach out publicly to my fellow Republicans working in the Trump administration.

We really need to talk.

Whether you’re a 20-something fresh off the campaign trail, or a seasoned Washington insider serving in the Cabinet, by now you’re painfully aware that you’re not making America great again; you’re barely making it to the end of the daily news cycle before your verbally incontinent boss, the putative leader of the free world, once again steers the proverbial car into a ditch. On every front, you’re faced with legal, political and moral hazards. The president’s job, and yours, is a lot harder than it looked, and you know the problem originates in the Oval Office.

[I was fired for criticizing Trump. Getting rid of people like me hurts his agenda.]

You hate that people are shying away from the administration jobs in droves: Just this week, in rapid succession, both Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Trey Gowdy withdrew their names from consideration as replacements for former FBI Director James Comey, the guy your boss fired. Whatever department you’re in, it’s a safe bet that it’s a whispering graveyard of empty appointments and unfilled jobs.

I know: Many of you serving in Cabinet, sub-Cabinet and White House roles joined Team Trump in good faith, believing you could help steady the ship, smooth the rough edges and, just maybe, put some conservative policy wins up on the board. You could see that President Trump’s undisciplined style was risky, but you hoped the big show playing over at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. would provide you with cover to work steadily and enthusiastically on the administration’s legislative priorities.

Some of you even bought into the ‘Merica First new nationalism. Many of you quietly assured friends in the Washington ecosystem that Trump would settle into his job — after all, just a few days after taking office, he assured us, “I can be the most presidential person ever.”

You figured Trump would turn his political capital into big wins, and that his lack of interest in policy details would let you and your friends in Congress set the agenda. Sure, you knew you’d have to feed Trump’s ego and let him take a victory lap after every success, but you also thought you might claim a smidgen of credit for a popular infrastructure bill, a big tax cut, repeal of Obamacare or a host of other “easy” lifts. Because we’re all ambitious, right? It’s okay to admit it.

Instead, your president botched Trumpcare 1.0 and contributed little as House Speaker Paul Ryan managed to ram public-relations nightmare, Trumpcare 2.0, through the House at the cost of much political blood and treasure. Instead, Trump’s fumbles have left many members of Congress ducking town hall meetings like they’re in the Witness Protection Program. The DOA tax bill and the rest of Trump’s agenda are deader and more pungent than six-day-old fish. Maybe your particular bureau is still afloat, but you’re really not doing much except playing defense and wondering which of your colleagues is leaking to The Washington Post.

You learned quickly that your job isn’t actually to serve the nation, manage your agency or fulfill the role you ostensibly play according to the White House org chart. In reality, you spend most of your time fluffing Trump’s ego. Either that or you’re making excuses for not being a more aggressive suck-up. If you’ve been ordained to appear on television as an administration surrogate, you know by now that your task isn’t to advocate for your agency or issue, but to lavish the president with praise.

[I support Trump, but firing Comey was wrong]

Now, you see the daily train wreck; you see a White House in turmoil and a president drawing an ever-tighter circle of family and corporate vassals around himself. You worry that the scandals and legal troubles, that have been rumbling on the horizon like a summer thunderstorm, are drawing nearer. You should worry.

Every day you get up, slide into the seat of your Prius or Tahoe (and if you’re senior enough, exchange a few polite words with your driver) and start checking Twitter. Whatever it is that you’re feeling, it doesn’t feel anything like Morning in America. It feels like some faraway kleptocracy where the center hasn’t held, the airfield and radio station have fallen to the rebels, and the Maximum Leader is holed up in his secret bunker waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Soon (and by soon, I mean now) you’ll have to make a choice. You’ll have to decide if I’m here to help has morphed into I’m helping this president dismantle the republic. In D.C., principle is as rare as hen’s teeth, but, GOP friends, I’m here to help you.

You already know you can’t save the president because he doesn’t want to be saved. You already know there’s not another, better version of Trump getting ready to show up. You’re smart. You’re loyal. You’re sniffing the wind like a gazelle, nose filled with the scents of predators. You don’t want to break from the pack too soon, but there’s greater risk in waiting too long.

When regimes collapse, dead-enders are the most fascinating to watch — the ones who end up with the profitable concessions and sought-after mistresses. You know already, though, that’s probably not you. So, when this regime falls, ask yourself, do you want to be among those who said not me, or do you want to go out like a Ba’ath Party generalissimo?

Sticking with Trump to the bitter end and pretending the unfolding chaos is just “fake news” won’t save your reputation as the walls close in. It won’t ease the judgment of history. It won’t do anything to polish up your future Wikipedia entry.

Cutting ties with a man who is destructive to our values, profoundly divisive, contemptuous of the rule of law and incontrovertibly unfit to serve in the highest office in the land just might. Do it now.